Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s ‘State of the Bay” score up two points showing improved health

ANNAPOLIS — The health of the Chesapeake Bay improved two points (six percent) this year to 34, equivalent to a  C-, according to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s (CBF) biennial State of the Bay report.     Continued implementation of the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint and below average rainfall resulted in improvements in nitrogen and phosphorus pollution, dissolved oxygen […]

Dinosaurs of the Chesapeake Bay

There’s an ancient fish in our Chesapeake Bay, and it’s threatened with extinction on our watch. That’s right: A local fish—the Atlantic sturgeon—survived Ice Ages, just to become endangered millions of years later by poor water quality, destruction of its habitat, and overfishing. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries is proposing to designate “critical […]

State of the Bay: Water quality improvements offset by fisheries declines

ANNAPOLIS — According to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, its biennial State of the Bay Report “is a mix of good and bad news.” The good news is that the overall pollution score improved, but that improvement was offset by declines in fisheries.
“While we can celebrate water quality improvements, we must also acknowledge that many local rivers, streams, and the Chesapeake Bay are still polluted. They remain a system dangerously out of balance,” said CBF President William C. Baker. “The Clean Water Blueprint is in place and working, but there are danger signs ahead. The states must pick up the pace of reducing pollution, especially from farms and urban areas.”
The 2014 State of the Bay Report is a comprehensive measure of the Bay’s health. CBF scientists compile and examine the best available historical and up-to-date information for 13 indicators in three categories: pollution, habitat, and fisheries. CBF scientists assign each indicator an index score between 1 and 100. Taken together, these indicators offer an assessment of Bay health.
The 2014 report score is 32, a D+, unchanged from the 2012 score. The report notes improvements in dissolved oxygen, water clarity, oysters, and underwater grasses. Nitrogen, toxics, shad, resource lands, forested buffers, and wetlands were unchanged. Declines were seen in scores for phosphorus, and rockfish, and blue crabs.
This year’s score is still far short of the goal of 70, which would represent a saved Bay. The unspoiled Bay ecosystem described by Captain John Smith in the 1600s, with its extensive forests and wetlands, clear water, abundant fish and oysters, and lush growths of submerged vegetation serves as the benchmark, and would rate a 100 on CBF’s scale.
“We know that budgets are tight in all the major Chesapeake Bay states; however pollution has cost thousands of jobs and continues to put human health at risk,” Baker said. “In addition, our recent economic report found that investing in the Clean Water Blueprint will return significant economic benefits to the region. Once the Blueprint is fully implemented, the economic benefits throughout the region will increase by $22 billion annually.”

Chesapeake Bay Foundation will continue to work to Save the Bay in 2015

The dawning of the New Year is a time to focus on our goals with renewed energy and resolve. At the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, we look toward 2015 as a time to work even more vigilantly for healthy rivers, clean streams, and a restored Chesapeake Bay.
Since 1967, CBF has been the leader in environmental education, advocacy, litigation, and restoration in the Chesapeake Bay region. Now more than 200,000 members strong, CBF is the nation’s largest independent conservation organization working on behalf of the health and productivity of our national treasure, the Chesapeake Bay.